As the year comes to a close, it’s time to reflect on trends, events, music, and other popular items that define 2014. More people turn to their local search engine, and in Russia, that means they turn to Yandex, to get the latest news updates, celebrity gossip, or purchase the latest must-have item online. Search engines can really tell us a lot about what matters to people.
Yesterday, Yandex released data for Russian’s most popular search queries of 2014 in a number of major categories. The findings below offer a great window on the issues that are meaningful to Russians.
Major Geo-political events were, of course, heavily searched by Russian citizens. Ebola was a major search term in Russia and worldwide this year. Other domestic events like the Moscow train derailment drew a lot of interest from concerned Yandex users.
The majority of searches for female names focused on Russian Olympic athletes or actresses with the exception of the American actress Jennifer Lawrence and Ukrainian politician Yuliya Tymoshenko. Meanwhile, the bearded EuroVision star Thomas Neuwirth, who otherwise goes as Conchita Wurst, topped the searches in the men’s category this year in Russia. Everyone is probably wondering who styles his eye make-up and eyebrows – let’s be honest, they look great.
The majority of popular foreign TV shows and movies originated from the US. Who doesn’t love a good Channing Tatum movie these days? Russians also really appreciate domestic shows as well, which makes sense because the language, plot, and humor are tailored for a Russian audience. Yandex released a category specifically for domestic shows to track the most popular programs.
On the contrary, Russians enjoyed listening to a mix of Russian and foreign music in 2014, as with most years. However, the top two artists are Russian and the third is a Ukrainian band. Glad to see Jason Derulo and Snoop Dogg making the charts, though. A song about a woman wiggling her behind really has the ability to connect people across the globe. Truly the future of diplomacy.
When it comes to uniting people worldwide, several international sporting events had our attention in 2014. As the host of the 2014 Winter Olympics, Russians of course were interested in the events and several specific hockey games that were played throughout last February. World Cup fans also turned to their computers or mobile devices to stay updated and informed on the tournament. Russians care about their national team and took a great interest in the key matches.
Several new items and services launched this year exciting Russians as much as the rest of the world. Yeah, everyone in Russia is flipping out about the iPhone 6 too. It’s natural for people these days. Almost as natural as searching for a search engine on a search engine. Russians searched for the search engine “Sputnik” on the Russian search engine Yandex. For those of you unaware, “Sputnik” is a state run search tool that peaked curiosity and that’s about it.
As made evident by the data on the Yandex 2014 search queries, 2014 proved to be an eventful year. The combination of domestic and international search trends ultimately defines our cross-cultural world that is heavily influenced and encouraged by developing technology and access to the Internet. As Internet penetration continues to grow in Russia, we can expect similar results in the years to come.